In 1983, when I was three years old, I told my mother that Duran Duran was my favorite band and that I was in love with Knight Rider’s David Hasselhoff.
While this doesn’t give me supreme cultural ownership over the 1980s like it does for those who were the prime ages of 12-25 during that decade, it shows that I was dialed in enough to know what was up. Despite my youth, I have very distinct memories of 80s music, television, and — if my puff-paint t-shirts and tiered acid-washed jean skirts were any indication — clothing. I already made those mistakes, people. I have largely been there and done that.
Which is why I have absolutely no interest in reliving the 80s, as kids today seem wont to do. I went to a local rugby association barbecue on Saturday that included the current rugby team at the University of California Santa Barbara. These dudes were wearing — get this — neon plastic sunglasses and brightly patterned cotton shorts. One of them had a rat tail! What the hell is going on with the youth of today? What the hell is it that makes kids want to copy the trends that had already come and gone before they were even born?
Okay, fine. FINE. I’ll cop to an obsession with the 70s when I was in high school. Oh, yeah. For a period of time in the 90s, we were all about the 70s. I wore bellbottomed pants and thrifted polyester button-down shirts. I loved That 70s Show when it first aired in 1998 — and yet I scoff when I hear that they’ve just trotted out this Animal House 80s frat house rip-off called Glory Dayz. Why am I even surprised? It makes sense. Pop culture has a perpetual hard-on for whatever was happening two decades prior. Hence the latent 50s nostalgia in such 1970s cinema and television gems as American Graffiti and Happy Days.
I sometimes wonder what will happen twenty years from now. Will our future pop culture be a resurrection of the second 80s revival of the original 80s? How many iterations do we go through before our heads explode?
That doesn’t matter, though. For now, the 80s are back. Again. For the first time. We’d better enjoy it while we can. We can start with this “new” 80s synth pop.
Now go start digging that bunker in the backyard, because we are all surely doomed:
Click through from your reader if you want to listen to the embedded player!
Ladyhawke — Back of the Van
Dragonette — Liar
Calvin Harris — Colours
Empire of the Sun — Walking on a Dream
Goldfrapp — Headfirst
Nite Jewel — Weak For Me
The 1980s. They will go out of style again. I promise. And be re-replaced with combat boots, wooly cardigans, unwashed hair, and extreme pathos. Hooray! My past, on repeat.
For more Mixtape Master madness, peep the playlists on these blogs: